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Thai women entrepreneurs in Sweden: Critical perspectives on migrant small businesses
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6289-2380
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography. Uppsala University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1246-2427
2017 (English)In: Women's Studies: International Forum, ISSN 0277-5395, E-ISSN 1879-243X, Vol. 60, 17-27 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Thai migrant women are an important and visible part of the small business community in Sweden, most notably through restaurants, massage spas and small shops. In this paper we explore the overlap between migration and entrepreneurship and position ourselves within the feminist entrepreneurial framework. We ask: which Thai women become entrepreneurs? How does being migrant women shape their entrepreneurial activities and practices? Our paper employs a mixed-method design to explore Thai migrant businesses, giving a detailed overview of which women become entrepreneurs based on register data, and providing space for the narratives of women. We find a gendered approach to understanding the business activities of Thai women business practitioners does challenge normative perspectives on entrepreneurship. We show that family structure, migration length, education and partner's labor market status all play important roles. Furthermore, we find that small businesses are sites of negotiation and contestation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 60, 17-27 p.
Keyword [en]
Entrepreneurship, Thai migrants, Gender, Mixed methods, Small business, Sweden
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Geography with Emphasis on Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-135791DOI: 10.1016/j.wsif.2016.11.001ISI: 000395954000003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-135791DiVA: diva2:1049115
Projects
When the World Goes Rural, 2007 - 2019
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2007 - 2019
Available from: 2016-11-23 Created: 2016-11-23 Last updated: 2017-04-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Gender and Social Practices in Migration: A case study of Thai women in rural Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gender and Social Practices in Migration: A case study of Thai women in rural Sweden
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Set within discussions of gender, migration and social practices, this thesis explores the ways in which Thai women migrants to Sweden build connections between rural areas through their daily activities. Arriving in Sweden primarily through marriage ties, Thai women migrants are more likely to live in Swedish rural areas than in urban areas. Rural areas are typically not seen as a site of globalization or as receivers of international migrants. In contrast to these perceptions, the case of Thai women migrants in the Swedish countryside reveals a complex and vigorous set of social practices that connect rural Sweden across spatial and temporal scales.

The aim of this study is to explore the ways in which Thai migrant women construct and implement social practices spatially and temporally. Drawing on the life stories of 16 Thai women living in Sweden, along with other sources of empirical data analysed within feminist epistemologies, this thesis discusses: In what ways does gender shape migrant social practices? How are social practices constructed within individual migrant micro-geographies? By what means are migrant social practices contextualized by spaces and places?

Thai women migrants are gendered agents of these social practices and are utilizing specific resources, objects and networks to bridge the distances found in their daily lives. The empirical material examined in this thesis points to the importance of women’s everyday social practices in connecting and linking rural areas globally at different spatial and temporal scales.

The results highlight the importance of a translocalism perspective to understanding gendered social practices. This study adds to the translocal discussion by demonstrating that social practices are embedded in multiple geographic sites and scales. Thai women migrants, in this study, emerge as significant actors in global countrysides and do the functional work of bringing spaces and places together daily and through their life course.

This thesis consists of an introductory chapter and five papers. The introductory chapter outlines the context and theoretical approaches to understanding Thai migration flows to Sweden. The papers share an emphasis on local sites: homes, workplaces and community. They examine different ways that women construct and build social practices – for example, through food, community projects and in developing their businesses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, 2016. 97 p.
Series
Meddelanden från Kulturgeografiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet, ISSN 0585-3508 ; 152
Keyword
Gender, social practices, migration, rural, translocalism, micro-geographies, mobilities, spatial relations, case study, narrative interviews, life course, feminist epistemology, Thailand, Sweden
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Geography with Emphasis on Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-134565 (URN)978-91-7649-497-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-12-02, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, reg. no. 2007 - 2019
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Submitted. Paper 5: Submitted.

Available from: 2016-11-09 Created: 2016-10-11 Last updated: 2017-01-09Bibliographically approved

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